10 Best Paint Stripper Reviews – For Wood & Metal
The work of a paint stripper is to remove the old paint from wood or metal surface. This makes it a really helpful product if you want to repaint an item or simply erase the mistakes of a painter.
How well the paint stripper does its job depends on its manufacturing quality. A high-quality product will give you great results. The flip side is true for low-quality products. Both the high and low-quality paint strippers are on the market, which means you should play caution when shopping for a paint stripper.
For the best results, get the best paint stripper for wood and metal from our list of the highly-rated paint remover products currently on the market below.
Best Paint Strippers for Wood & Metal:
1. Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
Our top paint stripper reviews start with this paint and varnish remover from Citristrip. It has earned a great deal of popularity from around the world due to its super-strong formulation, which grants it great paint removal properties.
Unlike most of the low quality products out there, this gel stays active and wet for up to 24 hours. This gives it enough time to soften multiple layers of paint, enabling you to strip all of them in a single step.
It works on both wood and metal surfaces. And would do a great job at removing multiple layers of latex of oil-based paint, latex, varnish, lacquer, shellac, acrylics, epoxy, polyurethane, and enamel.
It features no methylene chloride (or No NMP) and is non-caustic, making it completely safe for indoor use. It features a pleasant citrus scent that’s not harmful to your body. Using this paint stripper is completely easy, and since it comes in the form of a gel, you can easily apply it with a brush.
- Removes multiple layers
- Removes dried latex
- Removes oi based paints
- Great for wood and metal surfaces
- Contains no harsh fumes
- 100% biodegradable
2. CITRISTRIP Paint and Varnish Stripper and Remover
If planning to strip off old paint on your old items to refinish them, this paint and varnish remover will also do wonders for you. This is also a product of Citristrip and contains no harsh fumes, methylene chloride, or NMP (N-Methylpyrrolidone), making it safe for indoor use.
Like its sister above, this paint remover also features a powerful formulation that stays et and active for up to 24 hours. This gives it sufficient time to soften all the old layers of paint and remove all of them in one step. You can trust this paint stripper to remove up to 5 layers of dried latex paint in an hour!
Also worth noting is that this paint remover is pretty versatile and will work on multiple layers of various paints, including dried latex, oil-based paints, lacquer, varnish, polyurethane, shellac, and more. It works on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, and masonry surfaces.
Overall, this is a great varnish and paint remover product that works on multiple layers at a go. It’s quite easy to use, and the fact that it has a fresh citrus scent makes it even more pleasant for you to use.
- Contains no harsh fumes
- Features fresh citrus scent
- Stays wet and active for 24hrs
- Great for wood, metal, and masonry surfaces
- Removes multiple paint layers
3. Dumond Chemicals Advanced Paint Remover
The advanced paint remover that’s safer for you to use and safer for the environment (yes, it’s 100% biodegradable). It’s different from the other paint removers in that it doesn’t contain any VOCs, methylene chloride in its formulation. It’s also non-carcinogenic, non-caustic, and, odor-free, and non-toxic.
The water-based paint stripper boasts the ability to remove up to 15 coats of just any coating, from the water-based to oil-based paints, acrylics, urethanes, varnishes. You can use it to work on a variety of interior and exterior surfaces, including wood, stone, brick, concrete, metal, plaster, fiberglass, glass, and more.
Using this paint remover is quite easy for you as you can choose to apply it using a brush, roller, or even a conventional airless spray.
For the best results, you’ll need to let this paint remover dwell for 3-24 hours, depending on the number and type of coats you’re working on. The paint stripper is formulated to stay wet and active for extended periods of time, enabling it to work effectively to remove all those old coats you want to do away with.
- 100% biodegradable formula
- Removes multiple paint layers
- Water-based formulation
- Odor-free paint stripper
4. Sunnyside 65832A Ready-Strip Advanced Paint & Varnish Remover
This paint stripper from Sunnyside comes with a non-drip formula that clings to vertical surfaces and excellently filled detailed areas. This gives you an easy time removing old paint and varnish from a variety of surfaces.
It boasts patented Color Change Technology, which signals you when paint removal has taken place. After you apply a liberal amount to the surface you’re working on, the remover will turn off-white to signal you it has already done its job.
Keep in mind that a single application of this remover is capable of removing as many as 7 layers of old varnish or paint, making it the ultimate product for working on multiple old layers of paint.
This paint remover features no NMP or methylene chloride compounds, and it’s safe for both indoor and outdoor use. You can use it on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, plaster, concrete, marble, stone, brick, and masonry.
- Removes up to 7 layers
- NMP and methylene chloride free
- Begins working in 60 minutes
- Environmentally-friendly product
- Safer, non-flammable formula
5. Sunnyside Back to Nature Multi-Strip Professional Paint & Varnish Remover
This is another great product of Sunnyside. Like its sister above, it also features a non-drip formula that hassle-freely clings to vertical and horizontal surfaces. It fills detail areas and starts working in 30 minutes to completely remove that old paint to create a way for a new coat.
You can use this paint remover on water and oil-based paints and varnishes. You can also use it to work on more difficult coatings such as two-part epoxy and urethanes.
It has great paint removal capabilities and will let you work on up to 15 layers of old paint or varnish at the same time.
Just like the other paint removers from Sunnyside, this paint remover has great versatility, and you can use it just any surface—from wood to concrete, metal, brick, masonry, stone, and metal.
Also worth noting is that this paint is 100% biodegradable, making it safe for the environment. It’s non-flammable, non-caustic, and contains no methylene chloride. This makes it safe for indoor or outdoor use.
- 100% biodegradable
- Removes up to 15 layers of paint
- Odor-free; safe for indoor use
- Works on horizontal and vertical surfaces
- Applicable with brush, roller, or airless sprayer
6. MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper
When it comes to removing paint from an old furniture or metal surface without endangering your health, this is the perfect paint stripper for you. It comes dedicated to tackling the toughest stripping tasks easily and quickly.
It features a patented wet work system to ensure safe dust-free removal. It works on most types of varnishes and paints safely from a wide range of surfaces.
You can strip paint and varnish coatings from glass, laminate, metal, wood, fiberglass, porcelain, plastic, furniture, brick, windows, ceramic, flooring, marble, granite, stone, concrete, and more.
The Max Strip features no toxic fumes or hazardous chemicals like methylene chloride or NMP. It’s also skin-safe, so you don’t need to put on any special to start applying it. You can use it indoors or outdoors. For the former, you don’t need any special ventilation.
- Contains no methylene chloride or NMPs
- Works on most substrates
- Features a special fragrance
- Skin safe formula
- Easy water cleanup
7. DEFY Exterior Wood Stain Stripper
If you’re on the market for the best chemical paint remover for wood stain, this is another great product you can bank. The stripper is specially made for removing wood stain from your old furniture items, thereby restoring their natural beauty.
The fast and effective stripper arrives ready for use. It’s simple to use as you just need to apply it in a few simple steps…you start by applying a generous amount of this product with a sprayer, roller, or paintbrush. Allow it to settle for around 15 minutes. When the finish begins lifting, use a hard bristled brush to scrub them in the direction of wood grain.
When you’re done scrubbing, rinse the area with large amounts of water, in the direction of wood grain.
Keep in mind that this stain stripper for wood has excellent coverage of up to 100-150 sq. ft. per gallon.
Like the other strippers we’ve featured here, this one is also 100% biodegradable, making it safe for the environment. The product will deliver amazing results when used to removed weathered, clear, or even semi-transparent wood stains. It’ll restore the natural beauty of any wood surface.
- Removes worn surfaces
- Removes transparent, semi-transparent finishes
- Made for all exterior wood
- Restores wood beauty
- Comes ready to use
- Coverage: 100 – 150 sq. ft. per gallon
8. Blue Bear Paint Stripper
The Bluer Bear paint stripper also features among the best paint remover for wood furniture, metal, brick, concrete, and a variety of other surfaces. It’s a highly effective product for removing old paint without posing a threat to your body’s health.
When put to work, this stripper effectively removes multiple layers of paint in a single application. And unlike those strippers that work in specific paint types, this product will work on just any type of paint. You can use it to remove multiple layers of paint, varnish, urethane, enamel, other simple coatings, and lead-based paints.
The DIY paint stripper product has a safer formulation that doesn’t feature NMP or methylene chloride. Moreover, it’s 100% non-caustic and doesn’t let out unpleasant odors. This makes it the perfect product for indoor paint removal jobs.
Not to forget, it’s also 100% biodegradable and, thus, completely safe for the environment as well.
- No NMP or methylene chloride
- Removes multiple layers in one application
- Low odor; safe for indoor use
- Removes latex, enamel, urethanes, etc.
- Non-caustic and biodegradable
9. Rust-Oleum 323171 Aircraft Remover
Are you wondering what is the best paint remover for metal? If yes, try this Rust-Oleum 323171 Aircraft Remover. This product comes specially formulated to remove any type of finish from metal surfaces, including lacquer, acrylic, polyurethane, and baked enamel.
It delivers premium strength stripping for just any paint and leaves you with impressive results. It’s easy to apply and can easily work on vertical surfaces as well.
Unlike other paint removers that take forever to show results, this one starts working in 20-45 minutes for fast results. It works without causing corrosion on the metal surfaces, provided you stick to the recommended exposure time.
Like we have seen in the other top-rated paint removers, this product comes with a non-methylated formula. This makes it a safe choice for indoor and outdoor use. If you plan to use it indoors, you’d want to ensure the area is well ventilated
- Works on vertical surfaces
- Non-methylene chloride formula
- Extra-strong paint remover for metals
- Works fast; in 20-45 minutes
- Ideal for indoor, outdoor use
10. Evapo-Rust Safe Erase Paint Stripper
Last, but not the least one in our paint stripper reviews, we feature the Evapo-Rust paint stripper. This stripper comes equipped with new safe, and powerful solvents to help dissolve multiple layers without the hazards of the older technology.
The paint stripper is easy to apply. It easily clings to any surface and stays active for a period of up to 48 hours for the ultimate softening of multiple layers for easy removal. Its formula easily powers through latex enamel, epoxy, and even powder coatings.
It can remove multiple layers of paint in just 60 minutes or less.
Because it contains no harmful methylene chloride or NMP, you can use it indoors without exposing your family to harmful fumes. It doesn’t give off any noxious fumes or vapors. It’s also non-flammable and non-caustic, further making it safe for you to use.
Keep in mind that this paint stripper can work on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, and concrete. It also works on a variety of paint types, including oil and water-based, latex paints, varnishes, polyurethanes, lacquers, shellacs, and epoxies.
- Ideal for vertical surfaces
- Ideal for indoor and outdoor use
- Contains no methylene chloride or NMP
- Removes multiple layers in 1 hour
- 100% non-flammable
What to look for before buying?
Shopping for a paint stripper for the first time? Here’s what you should look out for you to help you get the best paint stripper for metal and wood that gets the job done to perfection.
Type of paint stripper
Paint strippers are grouped into 3 main categories, so you need to know which one best suits your needs. Let’s quickly outline the 3 main types of paint strippers below:
These paint strippers are quite popular. They utilize chemical solvents as their active ingredient and remove old paint by simply discoloring or weakening the bond between the paint or stain layers. When using this type of stripper, you’ll witness a bubbling effect that signals the stripping process. Afterward, you can peel or scrape off the paint. You’d want to avoid solvents with methylene chloride (DCM) as much as possible due to the high health risks associated with them.
Caustic paint strippers employ lye to remove paint from your desired surface. Lye is made from caustic soda (sodium hydroxide or caustic potash (sodium hydroxide). The lye works by turning the top layer of paint into a soap, forming a chemical reaction that loosens the paint from the surface.
The good thing about using these paints is that they have fewer health risks. The only risks you’re likely to get from it include skin burns and lung irritations. But you can curb these by proper protective clothing and using it in proper ventilation.
One of the downsides of these strippers is that they remain on the surface for a few hours for them to work effectively. They also tend to darken the wood. They work best at a temperature of around 50 degrees F.
Paint strippers falling under this category work in a similar manner to the solvent types, only that the solvents used in their formulation come from dried plants. The most common ones include lactic acids made from corn sugars or pine. Also quite common are the citric acid, citrus terpenes, and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), which come paper by-products or soy oil, wood pulp.
The health risks associated with these paint strippers are minor. But keep in mind that they cause skin irritation and should always be used in well-ventilated areas.
You should also keep your safety when shopping for paint stripper. Be on the lookout for chemical strippers that contain methylene chloride (also known as dichloromethane, DCM). Though this compound has superior, fast paint removal properties, it’s highly hazardous for your body health.
Short term exposure to it can temporarily reduce your blood’s capacity to carry oxygen, leaving your filing dizzy and short of breath. And long-term exposure, whether through skin or breathing, can cause kidney damage, liver failure, and even cancer.
Even when you buy chemical paint strippers without DCM and other harmful compounds, you should still practice safety precautions like wearing waterproof gloves and eye protection for maximum safety.
How to remove paint from wood?
Now that you have finally gotten the, you might be stuck on the next steps on how to use it. Below is a quick guide on how to use your new paint stripper correctly to achieve your desired results.
Step 1. Start with some prep work.
Before anything else, you’ll need to prepare for the job. The preparation here involves removing any hardware present on the wood you plan to work on, including nails, brackets, doorknobs, etc. in case you have non-removable parts, you simply cover them with protective tape. You’ll also need to gear up for the job by putting on those impervious gloves, eye protection, and a respirator.
Step 2. Apply the paint stripper.
Now it’s time to apply that paint stripper on the wood. Working on a smaller area at a time, liberally apply the paint stripper with a paintbrush and leave it for around 20 minutes, or until the old paint starts bubbling and peeling. If you’re removing several layers, you’ll need to leave the paint remover for hours to give it adequate time to soften all the layers.
Step 3. Scrape off the paint.
Now grab a paint scraper and try scrapping off as much paint as you can from the wood surface. Be gentle during this step to ensure you don’t end up gouging your wood surface. Afterward, you might consider reapplying the stripper to remove any paint that didn’t go away with the first application.
Step 4. Cleanup.
Finally, clean the entire wood surface using a clean rag soaked in water. Then, sand the entire surface to make it feel smooth and even. Wipe off any dust and debris on the surface. That’s it! You have just used a paint stripper to remove old paint from wood!
How to remove paint from metal?
In case you’re planning to remove paint from a metal surface, the process isn’t much different from that of wood, as you’ll note in the steps below.
Step 1. Do some prep work.
Like in the wood case, you’ll need to kick this off by doing some prep work. Remove any hardware on the metal surface. Cove the work area properly from the ground to top to protect it against the chemical stripper you’ll be using. Also, protect yourself by putting in gloves, safety glasses, a respirator, and a long-sleeved shirt.
Step 2. Apply the paint stripper.
Put a small amount of the paint stripper in a glass or metal can and use a disposable paintbrush to apply it on the metal surface. Give it time to work (see the duration recommended by the manufacturer).
Step 3. Scrape off the paint.
Provided you got the best paint stripper for metal, you should witness the old paint bubbling and peeling off the metal surface. This is the stripping effect. Grab a paint scraper and scrape off the bubbled paint from the metal surface. Use a scrubbing pad or nylon brush to get to the harder to reach areas or crevices. Reapply the paint stripper and continue scrapping until the entire metal surface is paint-free.
Step 4. Apply mineral spirit.
Wipe the surface with a rag dampened with mineral spirit. This will help get rid of any leftover flakes of the old paint as well as the bulk of the remaining chemical residue.
Step 5. Clean it up.
Lastly, use clean water to thoroughly rinse the metal surface and get rid of any chemical stripper left. Wipe it down with a fresh, dry rag, so you’re left with a completely clean metal surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Stripping vs. sanding: which one is better?
Stripping is a better option since it saves you a lot of energy while minimizing the paint sanding that comes with the sanding process. Moreover, using chemical strippers will not cause scratching of your wood surface, unlike the sanding process.
Q: How do you get paint off concrete without chemicals?
Alcohol is a good alternative for removing paint from concrete. Apply a generous amount on a clean rag and directly apply it to the affected area. Massage it into the stain to help loosen the paint.
Q: Can I paint strippers on all surfaces?
Not really. While most of the paint strippers out there are labeled as usable on a variety of surfaces, some are formulated for specific surfaces like wood or metal. It’s important to check what the paint stripper is intended for. For wood stripping, be sure to get the best wood stripping products. The best metal paint remover will work best for a metal surface.
Q: Should you sand wood after stripping?
Though not a necessity, sanding wood after stripping it is a good idea, especially if you plan to repaint it. It helps eliminate any residue and roughness on the wood. This leaves you with a smooth, even surface to paint.
Now you’re fully armed to choose the best paint stripper for wood or metal. If you want to strip paint metal, wood, masonry, or any other surface, this guide will give you some of the best products you can use to get the job done per your expectations. All the products featured in this post are good-quality, high-performance, and contain no harmful compounds that can risk your health.